TRÁBEG, KINARD, KERRY

These photos are from Trábeg Strand, a small and often dramatic wild beach in the Kinard West area on the south side of the Dingle Peninsula.

It’s pot luck whether you get any sunshine when you go out for a walk here, and after a promising start to the morning, the sky clouded over before getting there.😕

This is also one of those wild places to which photographers are drawn for those really turbulent sea images. This was not the best day for that, with the swells of last night’s gales already dying down.

Not to be deterred, I thought, I’m here now so I’ll make the best of it. I lived close to this beach many years ago, before digital photography. I haven’t been back many times since. (Wonder where all those 35mm prints are now!) 

This is the entrance to the beach. – Very stoney at the moment. In my previous life here I observed the sand come in and go out frequently with the storms. Now it appears more stoney than ever. I was also very surprised how high the water level was, considering it was only an hour away from low tide. I expected to be able to walk around the rocks to different sections of the beach at this time, but not so. A low spring tide should be ok – next time!

 

This large stack here is a very familiar landmark, which can be seen from many high places, particularly the Conor Pass road, shown below, on another day.

The sea stack is called The Searrach (Siorrach), there are often alternative name variations and spellings here. The Searrach means foal.

Every photographer who comes here wants to get a good big splash on the Searrach. I just have to be content with the stack and no big splash pictures. The water, though rough, just wasn’t quite wild enough.  Must find those old prints!

 

 

 

 

It really didn’t feel safe on the beach, you can’t trust the ocean, when it’s rough and the beach is small. We didn’t stay for long.  I’ll definitely have to go back.

For some of my images of the wider Kerry area check out this tag for Kerry Coast Images

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/kerry+coast+images

Thanks for viewing my post, and keep safe.

 

SNOWY TOP ON MOUNT BRANDON

It was one of those cold, numb finger days, walking on the roads in the vicinity of Mount Brandon, on the Dingle Peninsula. The mountain gleamed bright white with its sugaring of snow and fleeting sunlight, and in between showers of hail I managed to get a number of shots of this lovely mountain.

This is one of the 10 highest mountains in Ireland, and the highest on the Dingle Peninsula. I find it quite majestic in appearance. Its name comes from St. Brendan the navigator, an Irish monk who lived from 484 to 577 AD, and who many believe sailed to North America in a leather boat, with a team of other monks, many years before Christopher Columbus.  According to local legend, he spent 40 days in prayer and meditation on the top of this mountain to prepare for his journey. Already an experienced sailor, he had much knowledge from his own experience and that of other sailors he met on his journeys.

His voyage was simulated by Tim Severin in 1976 and he concluded that Brendan’s successful voyage to America was not only possible but probable. (Incidentally, Tim severin who replicated other historical journeys also, sadly passed away just last December at his home in West Cork). Some more information about St. Brendan can be seen here https://www.history.com/news/did-an-irish-monk-discover-america

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This mountain can be seen from many places on the peninsula and other places also. On this tag you can see several images of the mountain, including some paintings, on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/mount+brandon

Thank you for your visit. Keep well.

DUNQUIN VIEWS

Fluffy clouds, Dunquin. Below the horizon stands the Blasket Centre, which provides information and history about the vibrant community that once lived on Great Blasket Island, the larger island on the left, below.

Just below the Blasket Centre on the coast, this very nice new viewing platform has been built on the cliff, at a cost of €2.25million+ !!! I have heard that the rusty effect alone was a substantial part of the expense.

There are stunning views of the Blasket Island group from the Dunquin coast. This is on the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, South West Ireland.

More coastal views from Dunquin.

These shots were taken on Dunmore Head, which is nearest to the islands. Here there is another of those World War 2 lookout shelters, of which there are several around the coast. Unfortunately they don’t look very pretty.

An Ogham Stone stands on Dunmore Head. So named because it has some of the ancient Ogham script carved on it. Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used to write the early Irish language, and later the Old Irish language. (Pronounced Ohm, it has a silent G). Dingle Peninsula has a large percentage of the country’s Ogham Stones.

Couminole Beach, not very obvious here because the tide is high and the sandy area is covered over. It’s a beautiful beach for a saunter and a few photos, but not so safe. Nevertheless, my walking companions went down for a swim – yes in January! I didn’t venture down on this occasion as I was in a hurry.

The steep path to Dunquin Pier can be seen in the above photo.

I have to show these shots of this beautiful horse with his long mane!

This friend of mine, Lisa, likes to feed him daily with her vegetable peelings and give him a bit of attention, as she passes on her daily walks in Dunquin.

Lisa has named him Gruaig Fhada, which simply means Long Hair. Her own hair makes them a good match.

I have never seen a horse with such a long mane before! I assume he is a shire horse.

He is rather lovely, isn’t he?

So hard to see his dark eye in that black patch. I don’t know how he can graze with that hair in his eyes!

On my website there are many photos and a few paintings of the Dunquin area, including captures of Couminole Beach which I bypassed above:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/dunquin.

Also some animals and wildlife on this tag:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c101-animals–birds-and-other-nature-photos

I appreciate your visit. I hope you like my views of Dunquin, do come again.

UP ON A MOUNTAIN – SLIEVANEA

Here are some photos taken on a walk up a mountain from the car park on the Conor Pass road, on the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland. I have previously posted photos from this Conor Pass road. https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/conor-pass-or-main-road/ The path northwards from the road goes up the Slievanea Mountain, which has wonderful views, as, as you might expect.

I find – on my computer it takes two clicks on most of the photos to see the best, sharpest version.

Mount Brandon is the mountain in the above view.

Here in this one above one can see Dingle town, and below, across Dingle Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry)

 

 

These corrie lakes are stunning, at any time of the year, looking a  little frozen at the moment. The grass was crunchy with frost under our feet. It was really cold, with a bitter North East wind.

 

Would you believe it – that someone was so stupid and thoughtless to walk up a mountain, behold the wonderful views, and leave a beer bottle behind!

There were quite a few other walkers about, not surpringly, being such a beautiful sunny day.

Unfortunately we ran out of path, and tried to make our way through humpy boggy ground, before abandoning the walk in case of not being able to find a safe route back. Besides, it was bitterly cold. Another Day!

 

 

The above shot was taken from the road on the way back to Dingle. It shows the Kinard area, with the sea stack The Searrach, meaning foal, in view.

The Conor Pass is the highest ashphalt mountain pass in Ireland, and one of the most scenic routes you could find.  It’s not easy to drive for the visitor who doesn’t know the road, being very narrow and winding with overhanging rocks in places.

Thanks for visiting my post. If you would like to see more Conor Pass images, there are several photos and paintings on my website. Please check out this tag on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/conor+pass

THE VILLAGE THAT WAS…

Walking up Cruach Mharhain, from Dunquin, on the Dingle Peninsula, in County Kerry. The weather was particularly dull for the most part, and many of these photos needed some help  in showing a bit of colour.

The Islands here are the Blasket Islands. The largest one, on the left, was once the home of 150 or more remarkable people, the most westerly community in Europe, until about 1953.

 

Head butting sheep!

 

A road to nowhere? Actually this was the scene of the fictitious village of Kirrary, that was built for the 1970 movie Ryan’s Daughter. A substantial village was built here, using local labour, which was a welcome source of income to local small farmers when there was very little employment or tourism in the area.  Most locals now seem sorry that the village was demolished. It was offered free to anyone who wanted it at the time, but I think there were issues around the fact that it was built on commonage. It would have been a great tourist attraction.

Just as we came over the shoulder of the mountain just beyond the village, there was this wonderful view of Sybil Head. A bright sun shone out from the dark clouds, with a strange light. Strangely enough, the top of Sybil Head was the location of a Star Wars movie set a few years ago.

The schoolhouse that was built for Ryan’s Daughter is down at the coast, falling to ruin. I have many photos taken at different stages of ruin:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/ryans+daughter+schoolhouse

Thanks so much for your visit to my post,

2020 – A POTTED PERSONAL REVIEW IN PHOTOS

2020 for me started in the beautiful state of Mizoram, in North East India, where I spent Christmas and New Year. Here is the city of Aizawl, built on mountain peaks, and with wonderful sunsets.

Back home to the Dingle Penninsula, in the South West of Ireland, to enjoy, endure, survive the winter storms and the powerful, magnetic and awe inspiring Atlantic Ocean.

And experience the beautiful beach walks!

But….who could have thought…the dreadful Covid-19 came along and threw us all sideways – or worse, in some cases.

I had planned a trip to Italy in March, but had to cancel. Social life was on hold for most people.

Luckily, I was still able to walk and capture the beautiful coastal images – for a while longer, before restrictions became stricter.

More time to study the birds in my garden, through the window.

As a little experiment I recorded myself playing flute with the bird song in the garden. If the image looks upside down to you, it will correct itself when you click it.

Local sunset, below.

Lockdown to a greater or lesser extend affected all of us, world over. Our individual experience of the world became very small, as we were obliged to reduce our social contacts and curtail travel. Many shops and pubs were closed. My regular trad Irish music sessions in local pubs, where I joined in with my flute were cancelled, indefinitely!

For a time my photography focused on my immediate area, and the garden. These sunsets from around the house and very local area take on a caged appearance, as indeed we were caged, all of us, in some measure.

I am very lucky that the local area has many beautiful places for walking. beaches were closed for some weeks, but cliff walks were possible.

My birthday celebration was a cliff walk, with friends. It was lovely.

Much garden navel gazing was undertaken. I never took so many photos of flowers and garden creatures before.

I never before appreciated how beautiful apple blossom can be.

Wildflowers became objects of scrutiny and much enjoyment too.

So many bees in the garden!

– And I discovered just how photogenic the humble daisies can be.

Thistles too!

I am so thankful for my good luck in being able to take many coastal walks.

Seaside and flowers together here. Lovely sea pinks make a wonderful show in early summer.

Beaches finally opened again, in June, I think. It’s all a bit blurred in my memory now, as Covid-19 figures rose and fell and lockdowns went in and out of different levels of severity.

Tourists returned in full force to the Dingle area in the summer, much to the relief of those whose livlihoods depend on tourism.

Sunsets around my area continue to fascinate, less cage-like with the summer foliage.

Lovely coastal and mountain walks. These photos were from different sides of Mount Brandon.

I updated my photos of Dingle Harbour, and took several shots around the town of Dingle.

The swallows raised two families in my shed. These first day out fledgling swallows only had a couple of weeks to grow strong before their long flight to South Africa. I wonder if they made it.

Some apple trees did bear fruit, though hundreds of babies were blown off the trees in summer storms before they were ready to eat. This is the entire harvest from several young trees.

Exploring beyond my own area, as easing of Covid restrictions permitted, I visited Killarney, South Kerry, West Cork and more.

The Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney.

On Cape Clear Island, above, off the coast of West Cork.

The small mainland harbour, Baltimore, County Cork, below.

Back on local Ventry Beach, below.

In October, a cruel hand was served on Dingle. After a several months of Covid-19 related hardships, Fungie, the globally famous Dingle Dolphin disappeared, without trace. Fungie, a wild dolphin has lived in Dingle Harbour of his own free will for 37 years. He was probably about 45 years old. Missed by many, whether they made a fortune running Fungie tourist trips, or whether they were just people who loved to see and play with the dolphin. For sure, Dingle will be a different place without him. This was a major event here. It’s not easy to explain how this wild, free dolphin touched the hearts of Dingle people and many visitors from around the world.

I have no photos of Fungie, preferring to leave that to the Fungiephiles who had developed considerable expertise. Here is a video from Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhardt.

More local captures below.

Fungie is gone, but the Dingle Peninsula remains the same beautiful place.

An autumn forest walk, above, in Glanteenassig Wood, on the Dingle Peninsula.

December shots from Mount Eagle, below.

The Blasket Islands, above.


Snow on Mount Brandon, shot from the garden, heralding the coming of Christmas 2020

On Christmas Day on a local Ballyferriter beach, Béal Bán, some brave swimmers rushed into the cold water, with an air temperature of about 8 degrees C. I did not partake, I prefer to stick to the heated pool these days. But it was fun to be there and support them.

Recent Storm Bella, seemed to last for about three days.

I completed a number of paintings this year, and failed to complete several more – so far. I’ve dicovered that I can be more motivated in that field when I have more activity in general in my life. The slower pace of things this year seemed to diminish my motivation in the more demanding creative side.

Now we are in a 3rd wave of the Corona Virus, with a new more transmissable variant of the virus in the country. In fact a case was discovered in Dingle recently. We have a high level lockdown again, going even stricter after today, but vaccines have arrived in the country; I for one will not hesitate to take advantage when it’s my turn.

So now 2021 approaches. May you all be lucky enough to only have contact with those people who are honest, compassionate and kind, who treat you as they would wish to be treated, and I wish the best of health and happiness to you all. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

STORM BELLA

Storm Bella has been blowing for a couple of days now. Today I went out for a few shots of big waves, hoping it wouldn’t be too challenging for me.

These photos were taken in the Ballydavid area of the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland.

I have to say it was indeed difficult to stand up to the cold strong North West winds, while being battered by rain, hail and sea spray. My fingers went numb, making it difficult to manage the controls on my camera. Keeping my lens clean was impossible. I had to continually wipe it, only to create a smeared affect on the lens. The spray was relentless.  I lost a lot of good images through having a foggy lens.

The results weren’t the best I’ve ever done, but I’m glad I went out and got the fresh air. In these covid days we have to make an effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting. If you enjoy images of turbulent sea, please visit my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/turbulent+sea

NOVEMBER SUNSHINE

 

A collection of photos from Ventry Beach, on a November Day in glorious warm sunshine.  Yes, sometimes we do have lovely weather in the winter here – just not as much as we might like.  But this was one of those lovely days.

Ventry Beach is a few miles from Dingle town on the Dingle Peninsula in the South West of Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The village of Ventry can be seen across the water here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have many more photos from Ventry Beach, taken at different times of the year and in different light.  Please visit my website for more photos.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/ventry+beach

Also, I have published several previous posts here on Ventry Beach. Here are two of them:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/ventry-beach-2/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/ventry/

Thanks for viewing my photos. I hope to see you again soon.

CAPE CLEAR ISLAND and BALTIMORE HARBOUR

 

My trip to Cape Clear Island involved an 8 mile ferry ride from the charming small coastal town  of Baltimore in West County Cork, in the South West of Ireland.

There are also at least seven towns in USA called Baltimore. I wonder how many inhabitants of those towns have any idea what it means. I used to assume it meant big town, from the Gaelic (Irish language). Baile means town and mór means big. But I recently looked it up and apparently it means town of the big house. Baile (town) + Tí or Tigh (house) + Mór (big). So, Baltimore is an anglicisation of the Irish name Baile Tí Mór = town of the big house. The big house seen in the top of this photo above is Baltimore Castle, originally built in 1215.

Just hanging about, waiting for the ferry.

 

On the ferry out of Baltimore Harbour one can see the Beacon. It was constructed in 1884 and marks the headland of the strait between Sherkin Island and the mainland at the entrance to Baltimore harbour.

Approaching Cape Clear Island.

 

These photos were taken from the boat.

 

 

 

Approaching the Island’s North Harbour.

 

 

 

Just next to the harbour is this old ruin, St. Kieran’s Church, dating from about the 12th century.

 

At the harbour there is a tourist information centre, cafe, pub, heritage centre/museum, all of which were closed, due to the covid-19 restrictions that were in place at the time. A map outside the tourist info centre would have been useful, but there was none.  Food and tea/coffee were available from a kiosk, where the woman serving was run off her feet with the visitors from the ferries.

Nothing to do here on this 3 x 1 mile island but walk, nothing wrong with that on a beautiful sunny day. Of course I took the usual hundreds of photos on this walk around the roads of the island, which is very hilly, up and down, up and down… and very short of signposts.

 

The sight of old ruined stone cottages is a common one all over ireland. Over the years, particularly the past two centuries, people have left their homes and many emigrated for a variety of reasons, mostly because of poverty, famine, eviction etc.  Some, in better times, simply built a new house nearby and let the old one decay.

 

 

 

 

Cork has many islands but only about 7 of them are inhabited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

True love!

There are about 100+ inhabitants on this island, although pre-famine (mid 19th century) there were over 1000. They would like to attract more people there now, particularly young families. If I were younger I’d give it some thought!

Capr Clear is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) island.

 

 

 

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.  This is the closest I could get to it. There is a ferry trip from Baltimore that goes to the lighthouse, as well as calling at Cape Clear Island. I would really love to have done that trip, but due to my propensity for sea-sickness, I had to give it a miss. But now that I’ve seen the boats (they’re quite big and stable) I think I should do it next time.

 

 

 

 

The island’s South Harbour, above.

The old lighthouse and signal station unused since 1854, when the first Fastnet Lighthouse was built.

 

The lighthouse is in amazingly good condition, with its precision cut granite  block construction.

 

 

I suspect these harbours would normally be much busier. Covid-19 has taken its toll on tourism and marine leisure activities.

 

Glamping has come to Cape Clear; there are some yurts for holiday rental.

Time to return to the mainland.

 

 

 

Leaving Cape Clear Island.

 

Back at Baltimore. A gorse/heather fire was on the hill, creating a lot of smoke.  Farmers burn the gorse and heather to create more grazing land.  Don’t know why they don’t use goats.

Baltimore Harbour, with the big house, or castle, overlooking the harbour.

 

 

I was going to split these photos into two separate posts, but I decided to put them all together. Thank you for your patience if you have reached the end. I hope you enjoyed the trip to Cape Clear with me. Thanks so much for viewing my post.

More West Cork photos on my website: https://www.helene-brennan.com/c865-west-cork

 

 

GAP OF DUNLOE

These photos are from the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass in County Kerry, in the South West of Ireland. It separates the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in the west, from the Purple Mountain Group range in the east.  It’s a lovely scenic route from Killarney to the West County Cork area, an alternative to the faster N71 main road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaunting cars for tourists operate between 7.30am and 6.pm and can make the journey very slow and tedious for those driving cars. The jarveys (jaunting car drivers) don’t always like to enable motor cars to pass them.

However, I am sure the jaunting cars offer a great way of slowly taking in the wonderful scenery, and no doubt the jarveys are a great source of local knowledge.

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I really appreciate your visit to my post. If you would like to view more photos of the Killarney area and Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), please visit my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c87-photographs-of-the-iveragh-peninsula-and-killarney